CHICAGO – Manny Ramirez is coming back to baseball — as a player-coach for the Chicago Cubs' Triple-A team.
Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said in a statement Sunday that Ramirez "is not and will not" be on the Cubs' major league roster, but that he will serve as a mentor to Chicago's minor-league hitters in Des Moines, Iowa.
"While Manny is not and will not be a fit on the Cubs' major league roster, we do think at this stage of his life he's a nice fit as a mentor for some of the young talented hitters we have in the organization," Epstein said. "Manny will coach full-time and play part-time in a limited role that does not take at-bats away from our prospects.
The 41-year-old Ramirez was a .312 hitter with 555 home runs in 2,302 games covering 19 major league seasons. Seven of those were in Boston, where Epstein was the general manager of two Red Sox clubs that won World Series titles with Ramirez.
"If he shows there is still some magic in his bat, perhaps he will find his way to the major leagues and help another team, but that is not why he is here,” Epstein said. “We are thrilled that he wants to work with our young hitters and make a difference."
"I'm at the stage of my life and career where I really want to give something back to the game that I love -- the game that has meant so much to me and done so much for me and my family," Ramirez said in the release. "I know I am nearing the end of my playing days, but I have a lot of knowledge to pass on to the next generation -- both what to do and what not to do.
Ramirez most recently played in the big leagues in 2011, with Tampa Bay.
"The Cubs have some very talented young hitters, and I would love nothing more than to make a positive impact on their careers," Ramirez said. "I am passionate about baseball and about hitting, and I have a lot to offer. While I would love to return to the major leagues, I leave that in God's hands. My focus will be on working with the young hitters, making sure they don't make the same mistakes I made, and helping the team any way I can."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.